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Monday, December 24, 2012

♥Prospect Park Rattles The Cage...AGAIN!

On December 17, 2012 soap fans were riled up with the news Prospect Park, who failed to deliver cancelled ABC drama's One Life To Live and All My Children via online, appears to have reached an agreement with the Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Arts (SAG/AFTRA), and the Directors Guild of America (DGA). 

After ABC announced the beloved daytime serials were being removed from their daytime line up, Prospect Park's Jeff Kwatinez and Rich Frank promised the iconic serials would return via its' online network.  The company had licensed both shows from ABC/Disney, but negotiations with the Unions SAG/AFTRA, DGA and WGA broke down.  Fans were outraged when the news spread that the whole thing fell apart and the cast and crews of both shows had no idea what happened.  According to The Hollywood Reporter, an agreement with the unions that govern actors and directors was finally forged, with both serials set to begin production as soon as the first quarter of the new year. 
While this is great news for the soap genre as a whole, for me I'll believe when I see it.  One of the most important elements in the new venture is securing writers via the Writer's Guild of America, that at this point has not yet occurred.  Another hurdle concerns the deal made by Prospect Park, which has elected not to comment at this time about the agreement.  Reports are the company is currently in talks with numerous actors, however many have moved on to other projects.  Now that ABC appears to be clearly in support of a hybrid of General Hospital and One Life To Live, question is who is still available, willing to take the gamble to make the jump online?
I've learned that although the initial plan to migrate to the web collapsed, Kwatinez and Frank continued their quest and put together an investor package, then spent the summer shopping it around.  It is still unclear exactly who is potentially backing the project or if they'll be able to deliver two major daytime dramas based on the financial model presented.  What a lot of fans don't realize is the tremendous amount of money it costs networks to produce a show like One Life To Live- upwards of $35-50 million per year. The biggest obstacle across the board in the online arena is funding. While Prospect Park has enjoyed success with USA Network's Royal Pains and FX Network's Wilfred, those are produced for cable networks. Translating two large, major soaps like OLTL and AMC is a huge undertaking for release online.
Another issue is the fact that Frank Valentini, currently Executive Producer on General Hospital had been named as the EP, set to be the driving force once OLTL moved to the web.  Will this still be the case should it return to production?  If so, where does that leave General Hospital?  Under Valentini and Head Writer Ron Carlivati General Hospital was once again, brought back from the brink of extinction as it was in the late '70's when Gloria Monty took the reigns.  ABC stood behind Monty as she rebuilt the show, making it a household name worldwide.  Will ABC continue to support the iconic soap and keep their longest running drama in production should Kwatinez and Rich solidfy the deal?  If so, will Cartini remain with General Hospital or is it possible another regime will take over?  It all remains to be seen. 
In my opinion it would be foolish for ABC to eliminate GH from its' daytime line up.  Since the dynamic duo Cartini turned things around, TV by the Numbers listed GH is the No. 1 daytime serial for the fourth straight week in a row and has garnered higher ratings than Katie Couric's talk show in the all important 18-34 women demographic, even with Katie's show in the coveted 3:00 p.m. time slot.  She has enjoyed her ratings in large part due to GH's lead-in, and it would be in her best interest to ensure it stays.  ABC is also currently No. 1 in daytime programming for the 13th week in a row, so why would they want to change their line up now?
Ultimately I think soap fans should take the news of Prospect Park's possible venture with a grain of salt.  I am cautiously optimistic, but would encourage fans to continue supporting the remaining four network daytime serials- General Hospital (ABC), Days of Our Lives (NBC), Young and The Restless (CBS) and The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS).  Focus on how fun it is to watch our soaps again and just enjoy what we have now versus what may or may not come to pass.  Continue to support the entire genre as a whole by making sure your viewership counts!  Please DVR each episode or watch online at ABC, CBS or NBC.  Also check in on GetGlue when watching your favorite shows as they track viewership which added to the Nielsen Ratings.    Also take a moment to send out easy tweets in support of our soaps via Save The Soap Genre.

Through all the ups and downs this past year, one thing remains true- soap fans really are the most loyal audience and the fact that OLTL and AMC could be resurrected is solely due to fan's passion for their soaps!



  1. Thanks for the great update. The behind the scenes is turning out to be as big a soap as the productions. Still, it would be nice to see something come out of it. So many inconic characters and shows.

  2. Glad you liked it! Trying to keep up with all the crazy rumors and get facts. Thanks for featuring my article twice! Very cool! :)

    1. Just glad you are around to keep us all up to date with the rumors. Hope something good comes out of them!

  3. We're going to find out in the next 6 months how serious the guilds are about playing nice online. This will be a massive test.


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